Welcome to the Bygone Bungo blog. We aim to collect and summarise all that is known about the dear little place we know as Strathbungo.
Over recent years I have amassed a wealth of information, from historical accounts and swathes of records, to many timeless photographs. This blog allows me to share them with a wider audience.
Not everything is on the site yet; items will be added as time allows. Future plans include then and now photographs of the area, maps through the ages, and further articles. The database of properties and previous residents is already running – you can search through some 5000 landlords and residents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the Address Search page.
So if you have ever wondered about the history of the area, who built it and why, or who lived here, or you have information of your own to add, delve in.
This is a story of Glasgow allotments, prompted by Andrew Greg’s discovery of this previously unseen old photograph of Strathbungo, on, of all things, the cover of an obscure Jazz CD.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, the idea of garden plots for city residents developed. The idea was to grow flowers and vegetables for recreation, and no traders or market gardeners were permitted.
This Where am I? entry provoked responses split 50:50 between this being Pollokshields West or Maxwell Park. So here’s some more evidence.
Although only Maxwell Park Station building survives after a careful restoration, it wasn’t the only island station house on the line. Pollokshields West had a station house of the same design, as seen here, until the late 1980s.
Pollokshields West Station seen from the Terregles Avenue entrance, in 1987 (Ewan Crawford, Railscot), and again in 2018 .
A collection of then and now photographs of Strathbungo and the surrounding area. See how many you can spot, before dragging the slider to reveal. When done, hit the Reveal button for more info. More to come. Enjoy!
Take the train
But from which local railway station?
Drag the little slider from the right to see a more recent view.
Pollokshields West Station seen from the Terregles Avenue entrance, in 1987 (Ewan Crawford, Railscot), and again in 2018. The station opened when the Cathcart Circle was completed c 1894. The station originally included a large station house much like the sole surviving example at Maxwell Park, but it was demolished not long after this photograph was taken.
Recently Douglas Robertson posted a query on the Bungoblog – did anyone else remember the Victorian drinking fountain on the Nithsdale Road roundabout, opposite Salisbury Quadrant?
“I’m sure it was Victorian, as made of metal and was substantially built. I don’t know the dimensions but would estimate (from memory) that it was approx. 10-12 ft high on a circular base of slightly larger dimensions.
It was situated on a roundabout opposite the old red telephone box nr. Sammy Dows and The New Anand Restaurant. I am sure it was still there about 20 years ago when I lived in Pollokshields. Did anyone see it being dismantled? Where did it finally end up? I have searched and searched (google uk) and cant find anything relating to it. I’m sure there must be someone, perhaps a Glasgow Council dept., who could throw some light on this. Again, a photo of it from someone would be an ideal start.”
A couple of residents replied, recalling the time the council came and took it away, or destroyed it, when the new roundabout was constructed, probably in the mid 1970s.
Then the Strathbungo Society’s chair flagged it up to @OssianLore on Twitter , and the following is a summary of what he discovered.
The cello above sold for £13,800 in Bonhams in 1996. It was made in Glasgow in 1924, and it set the record price for an instrument by its creator, James William Briggs. He was a maker of violins and cellos of some repute, and a resident of Strathbungo.
Briggs (1855-1935) was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to William Tarr. At 21 Briggs set up his own business in Wakefield, married and had 3 children. Business was slow at this time but he received a gold medal at the Leeds exhibition in 1890, followed by diplomas from Paris & Vienna. In 1893 he moved his business to Glasgow. He had a shop in town, and lived at 12 Queen Square (at that time known as 5 Queen Square) from around 1905 until his death. Continue reading
On a recent trip round the Mull of Kintyre, I visited Campbeltown for the first time. Wandering around in the late evening, I came across the Picture House, Campbeltown’s cinema. It was built in the Glasgow School Art Nouveau style in 1913, and has recently undergone restoration. It is believed to be the oldest purpose built cinema in Scotland still in business.
What caught my eye was the information board outside the library next door. The cinema’s architect was one Albert Victor Gardner, a name I recognised. He built many cinemas in Scotland, especially in and around Glasgow, and continued to do so later in partnership with William Riddell Glen . He returned to refurbish the cinema in 1930.
The restaurant at 72 Nithsdale Road is, as of July 2018, currently undergoing another makeover, and will open as Niven’s by Cafe Source after refurbishment . It has previously operated as Cookie, The Salisbury Restaurant & Bar, and Kowloons in recent years. However it was not always a place for dining, and during its first such incarnation as Cookie, it still retained the original signage, H C Niven & Co, est 1929, Motor Engineers. The motor engineers tag, and its phone number, are still visible above the door, and it is good to see Cafe Source intend to revise the Niven name.
This photograph of Strathbungo was taken by George Washington Wilson (1823-1893), a pioneering Scottish landscape photographer. After his studies in Edinburgh and London he returned to his native Aberdeen and began work as a painter of portrait miniatures.